Thursday, March 17, 2011

Love Letter to Shazam

First, can I tell you that I think you’re one of the bravest people I know.  You amaze me.  In fact, all of you kids on the stage amaze me.  Do you know that you have WAY more acting experience than I have?  I did just one show in high school, two shows in college, two in Indianapolis a long time ago, “Fiddler”, and then “Steel Magnolias” with your dad, and that’s it.  Think of all the shows YOU’VE been in.  I get so nervous before a show.  Everyone makes fun of me.  And so I admire your courage to go on stage again and again.  You have more courage in your little finger than I have in my whole body.  When I think of you, I think of nerves of steel.  I remember what you did in “Peter Pan”, and I remember one rehearsal when kids were dropping lines left and right and you filled in and fix every mistake.  And you are brave to stand in front of me twice a week and listen to me tell you everything you’re doing wrong.  Very brave. 

As I’m writing this, I’m thinking to myself, “Why do I always give lots of bad notes and very few good ones?”  And then I think of you, Aubree-the-actress, and I think:  because it would take way too long to tell you everything that is wonderful about your performance.  We’d be there all night.  It’s easier—and shorter—to just tell you the handful of things that need fixing than it is to list the countless wonderful things about you.

You are wonderful in so many ways—wonderful because I can hear you on stage, wonderful because you’re enthusiastic about acting, wonderful because you obviously love being there, wonderful that you’re not afraid of me, and wonderful because you take theatre so seriously, and you are directable.  That makes you wonderful, too.  Do you know what that means?  It’s a good thing.  It means that I can tell you what I need you to do, and you can fix it.  There are some kids in theatre that, no matter how many times I tell them, show them, and tell them again, they can’t make the change.  They’re not aware enough of themselves, their bodies, their voices to know what to do to change it.  You, my dear, are VERY directable.  And not afraid to try the things I want you to do, no matter how silly.  Brave and talented.

And now we come to what you need to do to fix “The Country Maid”.  You already know what it is, so I won’t say it again.  Tonight in rehearsal, I have a suggestion for you that I’ll save until I see you.  Until then, keep your chin up, my little KidsPlay star.  I adore you, and I’m sorry that I pushed you to the point of crying at rehearsal. I felt very sad when I realized that.  It’s my job to push you, but sometimes I go a little overboard, and I apologize for that.

Onward and upward.  We have many shows behind us and many more ahead, but for now, let’s make this one (say it with me) the Best. Show. Ever.  ;-)

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